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Cleaning your gutters

This is a job that no one likes to do but it’s also one that often people don’t even realise needs to be done. The problem is that you don’t see your gutters – well, you do but you only see the underside of them and this makes everything look fine and clean.

However, the inside of the gutter can become clogged up very easily and this will not become apparent until it is too late.

How to gutters get dirty?

The problem with gutters is that they are designed only to collect and disperse rain water. The idea is that rain hits the roof, it flows down to the gutter and then it is passed along the gutter and down the drain pipe. However, what tends to happen is that you get other items such as leaves and moss that get dislodged from the roof when it rains, they flow down to the gutter along with the rain water. Then the rain water gets dispersed but a lot of the debris is left behind. Over time this debris builds up and eventually it completely clogs up the drains and the gutters.

How often should gutters be cleaned?

In a typical home environment, you should be cleaning your gutters once per year. This is normally enough to keep any substantial debris from building up. However, if you live in an area with a lot of trees then you may find that your gutters get clogged up a lot more frequently and in this case it is best to clean them twice per year – or as often as necessary based on how much debris you find when you do clean them.

How to clean your gutters

Before you start cleaning you should make sure that you are suitable dressed. It is best to wear old clothes as well as a long-sleeved t-shirt or overalls and heavy duty gloves. This way you will not ruin your good clothes and you will also be protecting your skin from the dirt and grime that you are likely to find in the gutters.

For safety reasons, you should make sure that you have a sturdy ladder and one that is the correct height for you to safely reach your guttering. You should also read up on how to safely use ladders before you try to climb them. If you are not comfortable being up a set of ladders, then you should get a professional cleaning company in to clean your gutters instead. If you are not careful when cleaning up a ladder you could hurt yourself.

Once you are ready to clean and you are happy that you can safely climb the ladders then you should equip yourself with a scooping tool such as a plastic handheld spade that you can use to scrape dirt and debris out of the gutters with. You may also want to take up a bristled brush that you can further clean the guttering with after you have removed most the debris.

After you have fully cleaned the guttering it is also a good idea to use a garden hose pipe to feed water down the gutter. This helps to clean any remaining debris or dirt from the gutter but it also allows you to see how well the water now flows through the gutter and down the drain pipes. This acts as a confirmation that the gutter is fully clean.

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